Tag Archives: education

New Video Training Series!

Launch of new Video Course

Being with Infants and Toddlers: A Curriculum that Works
By Beverly A. Kovach, MN

After fifteen years in psychiatric nursing, Beverly Kovach began her early childhood profession with the founding of Little Learners Lodge daycare in 1977. She has spent the past four decades researching and studying best practices as it relates to the care and well-being of children in centers and institutions and is considered an expert in the field. We are excited to announce the launch of Ms. Kovach’s curriculum guide, Being with Infants and Toddlers, in video format.

This course provides early childhood providers with direct access to Beverly Kovach’s expertise in easy to digest chapters of philosophy, body care, play and learning, administration & more. Beverly concretely describes how to integrate the curriculum immediately into childcare situations involving demonstrations by certified Infant and Toddler Teachers.

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

The course fee of $390.00 includes over five hours of video content and a copy of the curriculum guide Being with Babies and Toddlers. During the promotional period until January 1st, participants will receive the course at the promotional offering of $200.00 which will include the guide and live webinar support.

BEVERLY KOVACH MMPSchool Founder AMS 0-3 Teacher Trainer RIE Associate Pikler Trainer, USA Author
MMPSchool Founder
AMS 0-3 Teacher Trainer
RIE Associate
Pikler Trainer, USA

About Beverly Kovach, MN
Beverly Kovach is a renowned Infant/Toddler Specialists and founder of Little Learners Lodge. Ms. Kovach mentored directly with Magda Gerber and is one of only two North American pedagogues certified by Anna Tardos to train in the Pikler® Model of education for young children. Beverly is published in the field and has authored two books on the topic of infant/todder curriculum. She is a keynote speaker, Trainer of Trainers facilitator, and is certified to train in Montessori (MACTE 0-3), Pikler® and Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE®). She currently serves as President and Founder of Waverly Place providing childcare training and consultation services. Contact: theCHILDcentered@gmail.com

Infant Play

About Little Learners Lodge
Little Learners Lodge provides childcare services for children ages infancy through Kindergarten on a year ‘round daily basis. The center serves as a demonstration site for Beverly Kovach and resource center for educators and parents. Little Learners Lodge provides the video demonstration and bonus features for the video course, Being with Babies and Toddlers.

For more information please contact
Nicole Vigliotti, Executive Director
Little Learners Lodge
208 Church Street
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Stages of Play

While we may be well-versed on gross motor or language stages of development, the sequence unfolding in a child’s play is often overlooked.

It was Parten in the early 1930s who theorized that children progress through a series of six different types of play sequentially based on their maturity and social experiences. These stages include:

1. unoccupied play
2. solitary or independent play
3. onlooker play
4. parallel play
5. associative play, and
6. cooperative play

The final stage- cooperative play- tends to draw the most attention.

For cooperative play to unfold naturally, the child must be willing and able to let go of his own urges and desires, preferring instead to negotiate a middle ground where two or more may work together towards a common goal.

This is not something that can be taught by an adult. Rather it evolves over an individual’s personal uninterrupted cumulative play experiences with himself, his family, and the groups with which he is associated.

The disagreement in Parten’s Play Stage Theory lies in whether these stages evolve in sequence- for if they were, it would be uncommon to witness something like Toddler Cooperative Play. Cooperative Play activities are often reserved for the more mature elementary age child who has developed the ability to self-regulate to this complexity.

Yet, when children have grown up together in the center under the gentle guidance of a Primary Caregiver, we witness these cooperative play activities much earlier. Toddlers who are not only cared for by one primary adult, but who also have remained in consistent peer groups over an extended time, demonstrate the natural aptitude for cooperative play much earlier than the anticipated six year bench mark.

Without adult pressure to “share” and without redirection to adult guided activities, children supported in free, uninterrupted play activities evolve through the play sequence at a seemingly accelerated rate. This cooperative model amongst peers translates to the child’s desire and interest to work cooperatively with the adult- be it in a caregiving, academics, or simply keeping the classroom peace

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

Photo David Vigliotti
Photo David Vigliotti

“We can hope that men will understand that the interest of all are the same, that hope lies in cooperation. We can then perhaps keep PEACE.”
Alva Myrdal

The Making of A DIFFERENCE

When asked to present a 90 second clip on How Megan Nordoff Has Made a Difference, well- where to start?  90 seconds simply isn’t enough time to speak on the many ways Megan has made a difference in the daily experiences possible at the early childhood level, to educating parents and providing them necessary tools of support in their child’s education, and in extending her knowledge and expertise outside the school’s facility walls.

Speaking directly to Megan on the topic, I’m met with a blush.  Obviously, she is uncomfortable with the idea of being singled out as a Difference Maker- not surprising coming from a leader who insists that she is only one small part of the larger picture.

Oh, but what pictures do tell of her contributions often left unspoken.

With care, together we chose a few of our most meaningful moments- ones we thought best conveyed the difference Ms.Megan is making not only with the children with whom she has a daily relationship, but also with their extended  community- parent, educator, and neighbor alike.

How does Megan Nordoff make a difference?  Our opening photo paints the initial picture:



Each morning our entire school community from Toddlers through Kindergarten gather together during FLAG CEREMONY to begin our day together.  Each child makes her contribution to the group, they are guided by their leader, Megan Nordoff.  The ceremony has become more than a mere gathering and transition of child to classroom, it has evolved into a meaningful ritual of togetherness and song.  It is also a rich opportunity to share the values of our school and community culture, modeled first by Ms. Megan and soon taken over by the Kindergarten leaders.

This morning, the Kindergarten students proudly display their hand sewn flag representing COMPASSION.  They share through an originally composed song and, later, by leading a play, the meaning of the word COMPASSION as seen through the eyes of the five and six year old child.  

In her daily interactions, Megan values and models empathetic gestures and compassion.  Her leadership by example, adds meaning to the song and rituals in place, affording the children an opportunity to internalize the concept.  Likewise, as they venture into the community after school hours or upon graduation, they will continue to model compassionate behaviors- making a difference themselves with whom they come in contact.

The morning rituals together help cultivate a sense of belonging while also supporting the student’s emotional growth and learning.  We have found that children who feel cared for in a bonded community approach the academic components of our day with a healthy attitude and are better able to concentrate on more difficult tasks at hand.  This part of our daily practice has made a significant difference- here are some more photos our morning ritual:


Ms. Megan’s leadership and practice inspire us to be fully present in each moment of our daily interactions and to value the routine.  We hope you will be inspired as well to check out Three Ways Teachers Make a Difference – and also to vote for Megan Nordoff as a Kindergarten Leader in Education each day this week.  Thanks for your support!

GATO Finalist – 3 Ways to Make a Difference

A special thanks to our mentor, Jonathan Wolff, for his inspirational SELF-AWAKENED CHILD series offering stories and practical activities designed to cultivate an emotionally aware young learner.

And, of course, to the photographer- David Vigliotti- for his beautiful photographs which help us articulate and advocate our practice outside the facility walls.

And to the teachers, parents and extended Charleston community.  Thanks for your support and keep on voting.  We want that farm!